What is DHEA and what is it used for in the body?
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormone that is produced by the adrenal gland. It is a precursor to other hormones, including testosterone and estrogen, and is involved in the regulation of many bodily functions, including metabolism, immune function, and stress response. DHEA levels in the body tend to decline with age.
How is DHEA measured in the body?
DHEA can be measured in the body through various laboratory tests, including blood tests and saliva tests. In these tests, DHEA levels are typically measured in micrograms per deciliter (μg/dL) or nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).
What is the normal range for DHEA levels in the body?
The normal range for DHEA levels in the body varies depending on the method used to measure it and the specific laboratory that performs the test. In general, normal DHEA levels in the blood are typically between 70 and 350 μg/dL for men and between 30 and 160 μg/dL for women. In saliva, normal DHEA levels are typically between 0.1 and 1.2 ng/mL for men and between 0.1 and 1.7 ng/mL for women.
What can cause abnormal DHEA levels in the body?
Abnormal DHEA levels in the body can be caused by a variety of factors, including medical conditions such as adrenal insufficiency (deficiency of DHEA) and adrenal tumors (excess DHEA production), as well as certain medications and lifestyle factors (e.g. stress, obesity).
How is DHEA related to the diagnosis and treatment of adrenal insufficiency?
Adrenal insufficiency is a condition that is characterized by low levels of DHEA and other hormones produced by the adrenal gland. It can be caused by autoimmune conditions, infections, or tumors of the adrenal gland. DHEA levels can be measured as part of the diagnostic process for adrenal insufficiency, and treatment typically involves replacing the missing hormones with hormone therapy.
How is DHEA related to the treatment of other medical conditions?
DHEA has been studied for its potential therapeutic uses in a variety of medical conditions, including depression, aging-related changes, and HIV/AIDS. However, more research is needed to fully understand the role of DHEA in the treatment of these conditions.
Are there any potential side effects associated with DHEA supplements?
DHEA supplements are generally considered safe, with few reported side effects. However, some people may experience side effects such as acne, hair loss, or changes in menstrual cycles when taking DHEA. It is important to consult a healthcare provider before starting any supplement regimen.
"Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)." MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/331.html.
"Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) Test." Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 26 Mar. 2020, mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/dehydroepiandrosterone-dhea-test/about/pac-20385244.
"Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)." Lab Tests Online, American Association for Clinical Chemistry, labtestsonline.org/